Lake Tahoe Side Trip - Angora Lakes
By: Lake Tahoe
The Angora region in Lake Tahoe, unfortunately is famous for the Angora fire, which devastated about 3,100 acres of wilderness in 2007. However, there are two small, untouched gorgeous lakes in Angora that are definitely worth hiking to. There are multiple ways to get to the Angora Lakes. The first one is the Angora Ridge Road, which is about four miles one way. Another is driving Fallen Leaf Road along its shore to the end of the lake and hiking up about a half mile. The Upper Angora Lake is quite popular in the summer for cliff jumping. You can also access cabins via the Angora Lakes Resort, if they’re not booked.
We woke up early for the hike to Angora Lakes. Jillian, our pitbull didn’t make the trip, but Jeremy’s new pup, Hendrix did. It ended up being a pretty long hike for him, but he’s a trooper. We packed up the Granite Rocx Backpacks and started the hike on the Angora Ridge Road around 8:30 a.m. The gate to Angora Ridge Road was closed so the hike ended up being a bit longer than expected. The ridge, however to your right is absolutely beautiful peering into Fallen Leaf Lake and looking up at massive Mount Tallac. Unfortunately, the left side is Angora where the fire has decimated much of the forest.
The Angora Ridge Road is actually paved so it’s not too difficult, but you will end up hiking a bit of vertical. You’ll follow the Ridge Road up past the Angora Lookout until you reach the parking lot. At the parking lot, there is a path up a short hill to the lower lake (this is also where you would catch the path leading from the Fallen Leaf side). After reaching the lower lake, continue on the path and the upper lake is not much further. There was actually still a bit of snow on the trail, but nothing that would stop you from going.
The second lake is very popular in the summer for cliff jumping. There were some small waterfalls running from the mountains into the lake. It was a beautiful scene. The small beach along the shore occupied Hendrix for most of the time we were there as he ran up and down crazily.
Either starting location is pretty easy to get to. From South Lake, follow Highway 50 towards the “Y”. At the “Y”, take a right onto Highway 89 and follow that just past Camp Richardson. Make a left onto Fallen Leaf Road. Follow that road and either make a left on Tahoe Mountain Road and then a right on Angora Ridge Road or follow Fallen Leaf to the end of the lake where you can catch the trail up to Angora Lakes.
Early or late in the summer season, Angora Ridge Road will be closed, but when the gate is open you can drive the road, rather than have to hike it. There is a small parking fee at the parking lot just prior to the path to the lakes. The views are spectacular and the lakes are pristine. If you plan to visit the lakes in the summer, I would suggest going as early as possible. They can be extremely popular in the summer months. Have you hiked to Angora Lakes? If so, make a comment below.